Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6326357 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/129,312
Publication dateDec 4, 2001
Filing dateAug 5, 1998
Priority dateAug 5, 1997
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2299548A1, CA2299548C, DE69809561D1, DE69809561T2, EP1003525A1, EP1003525B1, US6329347, WO1999007383A1, WO1999007383B1
Publication number09129312, 129312, US 6326357 B1, US 6326357B1, US-B1-6326357, US6326357 B1, US6326357B1
InventorsNigel C. Phillips, Mario C. Filion
Original AssigneeBioniche Life Sciences Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bacterial cell complex composition and method of use
US 6326357 B1
Abstract
The present invention relates to a composition and method useful for stimulating the immune system and for inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in responsive cells of an animal. The present invention further relates to a composition comprising a Mycobacterium phlei deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA)-Mycobacterium phlei cell wall complex (MCC), wherein the Mycobacterium phlei-DNA is preserved and complexed on the Mycobacterium phlei cell wall, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. MCC stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species and inhibits proliferation of and induces apoptosis in responsive cells, including cancer cells, in an animal. Methods of making MCC and methods of using MCC also are disclosed.
Images(28)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(30)
We claim:
1. A composition, comprising:
a. Mycobacterium phlei (M. phlei) deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA);
b. deproteinized, delipidated M. phlei cell wall, wherein the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the M. phlei cell wall (MCC); and
c. a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
2. The composition of claim 1, wherein the pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is selected from the group consisting of a liquid carrier and a solid carrier.
3. A method for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in a mammal having cancer, wherein a composition comprising:
a. Mycobacterium phlei (M. phlei) deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA);
b. deproteinized, delipidated M. phlei cell wall, wherein the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the M. phlei cell wall (MCC); and
c. a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is administered to the mammal having the cancer in an amount effective to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells in the mammal having the cancer.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein the pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is selected from the group consisting of a liquid carrier and a solid carrier.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by induction of apoptosis in the cancer cells.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of abnormal Fas.
7. The method of claim 5, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of abnormal p53/p21.
8. The method of claim 5, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of drug resistance.
9. The method of claim 3, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by stimulation of immune system cells to produce bioactive molecules.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the bioactive molecules are selected from the group consisting of cytokines and reactive oxygen species.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the cytokines are selected from the group consisting of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the cytokine is IL-12.
13. The method of claim 3, wherein the cancer is selected from the group consisting of leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, bladder cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer and cecal cancer.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the cancer is bladder cancer.
15. The method of claim 3, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by inhibition of proliferation of the cancer cells.
16. The method of claim 3, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by activation of caspases in the cancer cells.
17. A method for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in a mammal having cancer, wherein a composition comprising:
a. Mycobacterium phlei (M. phlei) deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA) and
b. a DNase free pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is administered to the mammal having the cancer in an amount effective to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells in the mammal having the cancer.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is selected from the group consisting of a liquid carrier and a solid carrier.
19. The method of claim 17, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by induction of apoptosis in the cancer cells.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of abnormal Fas.
21. The method of claim 19, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of abnormal p53/p21.
22. The method of claim 19, wherein the induction of apoptosis is independent of drug resistance.
23. The method of claim 17, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by stimulation of immune system cells to produce bioactive molecules.
24. The method of claim 23, wherein the bioactive molecules are selected from the group consisting of cytokines and reactive oxygen species.
25. The method of claim 24, wherein the cytokines are selected from the group consisting of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12.
26. The method of claim 25, wherein the cytokine is IL-12.
27. The method of claim 17, wherein the cancer is selected from the group consisting of leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, bladder cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer and cecal cancer.
28. The method of claim 27, wherein the cancer is bladder cancer.
29. The method of claim 17, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by inhibition of proliferation of the cancer cells.
30. The method of claim 17, wherein the growth of the cancer cells is inhibited by activation of caspases in the cancer cells.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/054,777, filed Aug. 5, 1997 and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/075,111, filed Feb. 18, 1998, and U.S. Provisional Application 60/075,067, filed Feb. 18, 1998, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/086,317, filed May 21, 1998.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is useful for inducing a response in responsive cells of the immune system, and for inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. The present invention relates to a composition comprising a bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-bacterial cell wall complex, wherein the bacterial DNA is preserved and complexed on the bacterial cell wall, such that it is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. More particularly, the present invention relates to a Mycobacterium phlei deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA)-Mycobacterium phlei cell wall complex (MCC), wherein the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the Mycobacterium phlei cell wall, such that the MCC is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. Methods of making MCC and methods of using MCC are also disclosed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Preparations of biological and chemical origin including, but not limited to, preparations from bacteria, viruses, yeast, and plants have been used to stimulate or to inhibit responsive cells in an animal, including a human. Among bacteria, preparations of cell wall from, but not limited to, Mycobacterium species have been used to treat diseases including, but not limited to, skin diseases U.S. Pat. No. 4,340,586), bacterial infections (U.S. Pat. No. 3,172,815), viral infections (U.S. Pat. No. 4,744,984) and cancers (U.S. Pat. No. 4,503,048). Mycobacterial cell wall extracts are composed primarily of peptidoglycan and glycolipid (Chin et al. Journal of Urology 156:1189-1193, 1996) and contain N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutamine (muramyl dipeptide) and mycolic acid derivatives. Both muramyl dipeptide and mycolic acid derivatives stimulate the immune system by activation of macrophage and monocyte mediated reactions (Mallick et al. Comparative Immunology and Microbiology of Infectious Diseases 8:55-63, 1985; Teware et al. Veterinary Parasitology 62:223-230, 1996). As used herein, the immune system is defined to include macrophages, monocytes, lymphocytes and leukocytes. These reactions, mediated by the immune system, induce cytolysis, which is the complete or partial destruction of a cell. However, the therapeutic benefits obtained using such cell wall extracts to treat cancer cells are variable and inconsistent, and appear to depend on the method by which the preparation is prepared and delivered, and on the stability of the preparation.

Activated macrophages and monocytes produce bioactive molecules that initiate, accelerate, amplify and modulate responsive cells of the immune system. By produce is meant synthesize and release. These bioactive molecules include, but are not limited to, cytokines and reactive oxygen species. Cytokines include, but are not limited to, interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-12 (IL-12) and GM-CSF. IL-12 alone, and in combination with other cytokines, promotes the maturation of leukocytes including, but not limited to, B-lymphocytes, CD4+ T-cells, CD8+ T-cells, and NK cells and induces the secretion of interferon-gamma. The cytokine IL-12 is reported to have anti-cancer activity is some cancer cells lines (Stine et al. Annals NY Academy of Science 795:420-421, 1996; Chen et al. Journal of Immunology 159:351-359, 1997). This anti-cancer activity includes, but is not limited to, activation of specific cytolytic T-lymphocytes, activation of natural killer (NK) cells and induction of the anti-angiogenic proteins IP-10 and MiG. IP-10 inhibits cancer growth and metastasis, inhibits cancer-induced neovascularization, and further activates NK cells (Angillo et al. Annals NY Academy of Sciences 795:158-165, 1996). The cytokine GM-CSF is reported to have pro-cancer activity is some cancer cells lines (Hawkyard et al. Journal of Urology 150:514-518, 1993).

Reactive oxygen species include, but are not limited to, nitric oxide, superoxide radicals, and hydroxyl radicals. Nitric oxide, superoxide radicals, and hydroxyl radicals, among other activities, induce cytolysis and apoptosis in susceptible target cells.

Apoptosis is a genetically programmed, non-inflammatory, energy-dependent form of cell death in tissues including, but not limited to, adult tissues (Steller, H. Science 267:1445-1449, 1995). Apoptosis can be initiated by ligands which bind to cell surface receptors including, but not limited to, Fas (CD95) (French et al. Journal of Cell Biology 133:335-343, 1996) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1). FasL binding to Fas and TNF binding to TNFR1 initiate intracellular signaling resulting in the activation of cysteine aspartyl proteases (caspases) that initiate the lethal proteolytic cascade of apoptosis execution (Muzio et al. Cell 85:817-827, 1996), which is associated with nuclear DNA-fragmentation, release of nuclear matrix proteins (NuMA) and loss of cell substrate contact.

Apoptosis also can be induced by intracellular proteins including, but not limited to, p53/p21. p53/p21 act as a transcription factors to induce expression of apoptosis-mediating genes, including, but not limited to, genes encoding proteins that generate free radicals that, in turn, damage the cell's mitochondria, whose contents leak out into the cytoplasm and activate apoptotic caspases (Polyak et al. Nature 389:300-305, 1997).

Cancer is an aberrant net accumulation of atypical cells, which results from an excess of proliferation, an insufficiency of apoptosis, or a combination of the two. Mutations in apoptosis-related genes such as, but not limited to, Fas, TNFR1 and p53/p21 each have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancers (Levine, A. Cell 88:323-331, 1997; Fisher, D. Cell 78:529-542, 1994). Apoptosis is important not only to the pathogenesis of cancers, but also to their likelihood of resistance to anti-cancer therapies.

Resistance to apoptosis induction has emerged as an important category of multiple drug resistance (MDR), one that likely explains a significant proportion of treatment failures. MDR, the simultaneous resistance to structurally and functionally unrelated chemotherapeutic agents, can be both inherent and acquired. That is, some cancers never respond to therapy, whereas other cancers, initially sensitive to therapy, develop drug resistance. As chemotherapeutic agents rely primarily on induction of apoptosis in cancer cells for their therapeutic effect, drug resistance, which diminishes the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents, leads directly or indirectly to reduced apoptosis and is generally associated with poor prognosis in a variety of cancers.

Prior art anti-cancer agents have proven to be less than adequate for clinical applications. Many of these agents are inefficient (Bischoff et al. Science 274:373-376, 1996) or toxic, have significant side effects (Lamm et al. Journal of Urology 153:1444-1450, 1995), result in development of drug resistance or immunosensitization, and are debilitating for the recipient. Moreover, many of these agents depend on Fas, TNFR1 or p53/p21 for their effectiveness.

Therefore, there is a need for a novel therapeutic agent that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species and which inhibits proliferation of cancer cells and induces apoptosis in cancer cells. This therapeutic agent should be useful as an anti-cancer agent and as an adjunct to other anti-cancer agents. By adjunct is meant useful with other anti-cancer agents to increase treatment effectiveness. Moreover, such a therapeutic agent should be simple and relatively inexpensive to prepare, its activity should be reproducible among preparations, its activity should remain stable over time, and its effects on cancer cells should be achievable with dose regimens that are associated with minimal toxicity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention satisfies the above need by providing a therapeutic composition comprising a bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-bacterial cell wall complex, wherein the bacterial DNA is preserved and complexed on the bacterial cell wall, such that it is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. More particularly, the present invention provides a therapeutic composition comprising a mycobacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (B-DNA)-mycobacterial cell wall complex (BCC), wherein the B-DNA is preserved and complexed on the mycobacterial cell wall, such that the BCC is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. Most particularly, the present invention relates to a Mycobacterium phlei deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA)-Mycobacterium phlei cell wall complex (MCC), wherein the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the Mycobacterium phlei cell wall, such that the MCC is effective in inducing responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species, and in inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in responsive cells including, but not limited to, cancer cells, in an animal.

MCC is simple and relatively inexpensive to prepare; its activity is reproducible among preparations; it remains stable and effective over time; and, it is effective at dose regimens that are associated with minimal toxicity.

To prepare MCC, the Mycobacterium phlei (M. phlei) are grown in liquid medium and harvested. The M. phlei are disrupted and the solid components of the disrupted M. phlei are collected by centrifugal sedimentation. The solid components are deproteinized, delipidated, and washed. DNase-free reagents are used to minimize M-DNA degradation during preparation.

MCC is effective as a therapeutic agent in preventing, treating and eliminating a variety of diseases including, but not limited to, malignant, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases. It is particularly useful for treating diseases and processes mediated by undesired and uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as cancers. MCC also is effective as an adjunct to enhance the effectiveness of other anti-cancer agents. Such agents include, but are not limited to, drugs, immunostimulants, antigens, antibodies, vaccines, radiation and chemotherapeutic, genetic, biologically engineered and chemically synthesized agents, and agents that target cell death molecules for activation or inactivation, that inhibit proliferation of, and that induce apoptosis in cancer cells.

MCC, in a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, is administered to an animal in a dosage effective to stimulate a response in responsive cells of the immune system, and to inhibit proliferation of and induce apoptosis in responsive cells. MCC can be administered by methods including, but not limited to, suspension in aqueous formulations, emulsification in oil or other hydrophobic liquid formulations, enclosure in liposomes, and complexion with natural or artificial carriers, with tissue- or cell-specific ligands or with tissue- or cell-specific antibodies.

Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide a composition and method that induces a therapeutic response in responsive cells of an animal, including a human.

Another object of the present invention to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cell of the immune system to produce bioactive molecules.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce IL-10.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce IL-12.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that stimulates responsive cells of the immune system to produce reactive oxygen species.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective for treating a disease in an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective to prevent a cancer in an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective to treat a cancer in an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective to eliminate a cancer in an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that inhibits proliferation of responsive cells of an animal.

Another object of the present invention to provide a composition and method that induces apoptosis in responsive cells of an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that induces apoptosis independent of Fas.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that induces apoptosis independent of TNFR1.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that induces apoptosis independent of p53/p21.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that induces apoptosis independent of drug resistance.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that activates caspases in responsive cells of an animal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to other anti-cancer therapies.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to chemical agents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to radiation therapy.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to biological agents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to biologically engineered agents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to vaccines.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective as an adjunct to nucleic acid-based vaccines.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective in inhibiting angiogenesis in a cancer.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective in restoring the immune system in an immunosuppressed animal regardless of the cause of the immunosuppression.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that is effective in treating an immunodeficiency disease.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition and method that induces terminal differentiation of incompletely differentiated cells.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition of particle size and formulation that is optimal for recognition by responsive cells.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition of particle size and formulation that is optimal for interaction with responsive cells.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition of particle size and formulation that is optimal for uptake by responsive cells.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that can be prepared in large amounts.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that is relatively inexpensive to prepare.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that has reproducible activity among preparations.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that remains stable over time.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that maintains its effectiveness over time.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that is minimally toxic to the recipient.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that will not cause anaphylaxis in the recipient.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a composition that does not sensitize the recipient to tuberculin skin tests.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after a review of the following detailed description of the disclosed embodiment and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. MCC stimulation of IL-6, IL-12 and GM-CSF production in human HT-1197 and HT-1376 bladder cancer cells, human THP-1 monocytes, murine macrophages, murine RAW 264.7 monocytes and murine spleen cells by MCC. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 2. MCC and MCC-DNA stimulation of IL-12 production in human THP-1 monocytes in the absence and in the presence of CD14 antibodies.

FIG. 3. MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA stimulation of IL-12 production in human THP-1 monocytes in the absence and in the presence of cytochalasin D.

FIG. 4. MCC, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® stimulation of IL-12 production in murine macrophages before and after DNase I treatment.

FIG. 5. Stimulation of IL-12 production in murine macrophages by PBS, interferon-gamma and MCC and by interferon gamma+MCC.

FIG. 6. MCC stimulation of NO production in RAW 264.7 monocytes.

FIGS. 7A. and 7B. In vivo stimulation of cytokine production in CD-1 mice by intraperitoneal administration of MCC (7A) and intravenous administration of MCC (7B).

FIG. 8. MCC inhibition of proliferation of HT-1376, HT-1197, B-16 F1, THP-1, RAW 264.7, Jurkat, HL-60 and HL-60 MX-1 cancer cells. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments

FIGS. 9A. and 9B. Inhibition of proliferation of HT-1376. HT-1197, B-16 F1, THP-1, RAW 264.7, Jurkat, HL-60, HL-60 MX-1 cancer cells by M. phlei-DNA (9A), MCC-DNA (9B), calf thymus-DNA (9A & 9B) and herring sperm-DNA (9A & 9B). Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 10. Inhibition of proliferation of human leukemic THP-1 monocytes by MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and hIL-12. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIGS. 11A. and 11B. Inhibition of proliferation of HT-1197 (11A) and HT-1376 (11B) human bladder cancer cells by MCC and LPS. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 12. Induction of DNA fragmentation in human leukemic THP-1 monocytes by PBS, MCC, DNase I treated MCC, M. phlei-DNA, DNase I treated M. phlei-DNA, and herring sperm-DNA. Results shown are for 1 of 3 experiments, each of which gave similar results.

FIGS. 13A. and 13B. Induction of DNA fragmentation in HT-1197 (13A) and HT-1376 (13B) human bladder cancer cells by MCC, and hIL-12. Results shown are for 1 of 3 experiments, each of which gave similar results

FIG. 14. Release of NuMA from human leukemic THP-1 monocytes by MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and herring sperm-DNA. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 15. Release of NuMA from human leukemic THP-1 monocytes by untreated and DNase I treated MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 16. Release of NuMA from HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells with increasing concentrations of MCC. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIGS. 17A. and 17B. Release of NuMA from HT-1197 (17A) and HT-1376 (17B) human bladder cancer cells with 1 μg/ml MCC or with 100 μg/ml MCC over 48 h. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 18. NuMA release from Jurkat cells incubated with PBS, CH-11 antibodies, ZB4 antibodies, M. phlei-DNA, CH-11 antibodies+M. phlei-DNA and ZB4 antibodies+M. phlei-DNA.

FIG. 19. Effect of BstU I restriction endonuclease on nuclear fragmentation of M. phlei-DNA and of methylated M. phlei-DNA.

FIG. 20. NuMA release from human leukemic THP-1 monocytes by M. phlei-DNA and by sonicated, BstU I cleaved, autoclaved, and methylated M. phlei-DNA.

FIG. 21. In vivo anti-cancer activity of MCC and of DNase I treated MCC in line 10 hepatoma in guinea pigs. Results are the mean±SD of 7 animals in each experimental group.

FIG. 22. Percentage LDH release by HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells as an indicator of MCC cytotoxicity. Results are the mean±SD of 3 independent experiments.

FIG. 23. Stability of MCC during 6 months of storage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a composition comprising a bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-bacterial cell wall complex, wherein the bacterial DNA is preserved and complexed on the bacterial cell wall, such that it is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. More particularly, the present invention relates to a composition comprising a mycobacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (B-DNA)-mycobacterial cell wall complex (BCC), wherein the B-DNA is preserved and complexed on the mycobacterial cell wall, such that the BCC is effective in inducing a response in responsive cells of an animal. Most particularly, the present invention relates to a M. phlei deoxyribonucleic acid (M-DNA)-M. phlei cell wall complex (MCC) and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, wherein the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the M. phlei cell wall. MCC is effective in inducing responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species, and in inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in responsive cells including, but not limited, to cancer cells, in an animal. In MCC, the amount of M-DNA is enriched relative to the amount of M-DNA in an intact M. phlei cell. Further, the M-DNA is preserved and complexed on the M. phlei cell wall so that it is more accessible to the responding cells than is the M-DNA within an intact M. phlei cell.

Many bacterial species can be used to practice the present invention including, but not limited to, Coryneform species, Corynebacterium species, Rhodococcus species, Eubacterium species, Bordetella species, Escherichia species, Listeria species, Nocardia species and Mycobacterium species. Preferably, Mycobacterium species including, but not limited to, M. smegmatis, M. fortuitum, M. kansaii, M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. vaccae, M. avium and M. phlei are used. More preferably, the Mycobacterium species M. phlei is used.

MCC is simple and relatively inexpensive to prepare, its activity is reproducible among preparations and remains stable over time. Further, it is minimally, if at all, toxic to the recipient, does not cause a positive tuberculin reaction in the recipient and rarely causes an anaphylactic response in the recipient even upon repeated administration.

Although not wanting to be bound by the following hypothesis, it is believed that the oligonucleotide sequences and structures of M-DNA are necessary for biological activity of MCC, and that the complexion of M-DNA on the deproteinized, delipidated M. phlei cell wall is important for optimal biological activity of MCC. It is to be understood that M-DNA alone, or M-DNA complexed on a carrier other than M. phlei cell wall, can be used to induce a response in responsive cells of an animal. That is, methods disclosed for using MCC can also be used for M-DNA.

The M-DNA content of MCC preferably is between about 0.001 mg/100 mg dry MCC and about 90 mg/100 mg dry MCC, more preferably between about 0.01 mg/100 mg dry MCC and about 40 mg/100 mg dry MCC, most preferably between about 0.1 mg/100 mg dry MCC and about 30 mg/100 mg dry MCC. Also, it is preferable that the protein content be less than about 2 mg/100 mg dry MCC and that the fatty acid content be less than about 2 mg/100 mg dry MCC.

Methods to increase the therapeutic activity of MCC include, but are not limited to, chemically supplementing or biotechnologically amplifying stimulatory sequences or confirmations of DNA derived from the same or different bacterial species, or using bacterial plasmids containing appropriate stimulatory sequences or confirmations of DNA derived from the same or different bacterial species. Other methods to increase the therapeutic activity of MCC include, but are not limited to, complexing the MCC to natural or synthetic carriers or coupling the MCC to tissue-type or cell-type directed ligands or antibodies.

Administration of MCC is not an immunization process. It is a therapeutic treatment that stimulates a response in responsive cells of the immune system, and that inhibits proliferation of and induces apoptosis in responsive cells. This therapeutic treatment is useful to prevent, treat or eliminate a disease including, but not limited to, a cancer. Moreover, the unexpected and surprising ability of MCC to induce apoptosis in various cancer cells including, but not limited to, Fas abnormal, p52/21 abnormal and drug resistant cancer cells, addresses a long felt unfulfilled need in the medical arts, and provides an important benefit for animals, including humans.

Although not wanting to be bound by the following hypothesis, it is believed that the therapeutic effects of MCC include, but are not limited to, stimulation of responsive cells of the immune system to produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species, which cause cytolysis and apoptosis in responsive cells, and induction of caspase activity in responsive cells, which causes apoptosis. Cytolysis and apoptosis, both individually and in combination, have both anti-cancer activity and adjunct activity. That is, MCC can be used alone as an anti-cancer agent and MCC can be used before, at the same time as, or after another anti-cancer agent to increase treatment effectiveness.

MCC and its pharmaceutically acceptable carrier may be prepared by various techniques. Such techniques include bringing into association the MCC and its carriers or excipients. Preferably, the MCC compositions are prepared by uniformly and intimately bringing into association the MCC with liquid carriers, with solid carriers, or with both. Liquid carriers include, but are not limited to, aqueous formulations, non-aqueous formulations, or both. Solid carriers include, but are not limited to, biological carriers, chemical carriers, or both.

MCC may be administered in an aqueous suspension, an oil emulsion, water in oil emulsion and water-in-oil-in-water emulsion, and in carriers including, but not limited to, liposomes, microparticles, site-specific emulsions, long-residence emulsions, sticky-emulsions, microemulsions, nanoemulsions, microspheres, nanospheres, nanoparticles and minipumps, and with various natural or synthetic polymers that allow for sustained release of MCC, the minipumps or polymers being implanted in the vicinity of where drug delivery is required. Polymers and their use are described in, for example, Brem et al. (Journal of Neurosurgery 74:441-446, 1991). Further, MCC can be used with any one, all, or any combination of excipients regardless of the carrier used to present the MCC to the responding cells. These include, but are not limited to, anti-oxidants, buffers, and bacteriostats, and may include suspending agents and thickening agents.

Preferably, MCC is administered as an aqueous suspension. For administration in an aqueous carrier, MCC is suspended in a pharmaceutically acceptable buffer including, but not limited to, saline and phosphate buffered saline (PBS) by techniques including, but not limited to, sonication and microfluidization, and is either asceptically processed or terminally sterilized. For example, freeze-dried (lyophilized) MCC may be stored in sealed ampoules or vials requiring only the addition of a carrier, for example sterile water, immediately prior to use.

For administration in a non-aqueous carrier, MCC is emulsified with a mineral oil or with a neutral oil such as, but not limited to, a diglyceride, a triglyceride, a phospholipid, a lipid, an oil and mixtures thereof, wherein the oil contains an appropriate mix of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Examples include, but are not limited to, soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, olive oil and myglyol, wherein the number of fatty acid carbons is between 12 and 22 and wherein the fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated. Optionally, charged lipid or phospholipid can be suspended in the neutral oil.

The size of the MCC particles administered should be optimal for recognition of, interaction with, and uptake by the responsive cells. Preferably, the mean diameter of the MCC particles is between about 10 and about 10,000 nm, more preferably between about 100 and about 1000 nm and most preferably between about 250 and about 600 nm.

MCC is administered in an amount effective to induce a therapeutic response in an animal, including a human. The dosage of MCC administered will depend on the condition being treated, the particular formulation, and other clinical factors such as weight and condition of the recipient and route of administration. Preferably, the amount of MCC administered is from about 0.00001 mg/kg to about 100 mg/kg per dose, more preferably from about 0.0001 mg/kg to about 50 mg/kg per dose, and most preferably from about 0.001 mg/kg to about 10 mg/kg per dose.

M-DNA also is administered in an amount effective to induce a therapeutic response in an animal, including a human. The dosage of M-DNA to be administered will depend on the condition being treated, the particular formulation, and other clinical factors such as weight and condition of the recipient and route of administration. Preferably the amount of M-DNA administered is from about 0.00001 mg/kg to about 100 mg/kg per dose, more preferably from about 0.0001 mg/kg to about 50 mg/kg per dose and most preferably from about 0.001 mg/kg to about 10 mg/kg per dose.

Routes of administration include, but are not limited to, oral, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intravenous, intradermal, intrathecal, intralesional, intratumoral, intrabladder, intra-vaginal, intraocular, intrarectal, intrapulmonary, intraspinal, transdermal, subdermal, placement within cavities of the body, nasal inhalation, pulmonary inhalation, impression into skin and electrocorporation.

Depending on the route of administration, the volume per dose is preferably about 0.001 ml to about 100 ml, more preferably about 0.01 ml to about 50 ml, and most preferably about 0.1 ml to about 30 ml. MCC can be administered in a single dose treatment or in multiple dose treatments on a schedule and over a period of time appropriate to the disease being treated, the condition of the recipient and the route of administration.

MCC is effective as therapeutic agent for preventing, treating or eliminating a disease including, but not limited, to a cancer. Such cancers include, but are not limited to, squamous cell carcinoma, fibrosarcoma, sarcoid carcinoma, melanoma, mammary cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, renal cancer, osteosarcoma, cutaneous melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, lymphoma and metastases derived therefrom.

MCC retains its therapeutic effectiveness after sonication and autoclaving, which reduce oligonucleotide length, and after CpG methylation, which abolishes activity of the palindromic oligonucleotide sequence purine-purine-C-G-pyrimidine-pyrimidine. MCC does not retain its therapeutic effectiveness after DNase I treatment, which digests the M-DNA.

The following examples will serve to further illustrate the present invention without, at the same time, however, constituting any limitation thereof. On the contrary, it is to be clearly understood that resort may be had to various other embodiments, modifications, and equivalents thereof which, after reading the description herein, may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention and/or the scope of the appended claims.

EXAMPLE 1 Preparation of MCC from Mycobacterium phlei

MCC was prepared from Mycobacterium phlei (strain 110). M. phlei was obtained from the Institut fur Experimental Biologie and Medizin, Borstel, Germany, and was stored as a suspension in sterile milk at −60° C. The M. phlei was cultured on Petragnani medium (Difco Labs, Detroit, Mich.) and was grown in granulated agar BACTO® AC broth (Difco Labs) for 10 to 20 days. The cells were harvested by centrifugal sedimentation. All reagents used in the following procedure were selected to enhance conservation of the M. phlei DNA.

About 400 grams of moist cell mass was placed into an autoclaved blender with a capacity of about 1200 ml. The cell mass was mixed at high speed for between 30 to 60 sec. After mixing, 6 ml of DNase-free polyoxgenthylenesorbitan monooleate, Tween 80, (Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, Mo.) and between 200 and 400 ml of autoclaved water were added to the cell mixture. The entire cell suspension was again mixed in the blender at low speed for about 10 sec.

Cell disruption was accomplished by sonication. Five hundred ml of cell suspension, wherein the cells comprised about 50% to 70% of the volume, were placed in a one liter autoclaved beaker and sonicated. The sonicate was stored in an autoclaved flask on ice during the fractionation process. Unbroken cells were remove by low speed centrifugation. The supernatant from the low speed centrifugation was centrifuged for 1 h at 27,500 g at 15° C. and the supernatant from this centrifugation was discarded.

The sediment from the 27,000 g centrifugation was transferred to an autoclaved blender and suspended in autoclaved deionized water by mixing at low speed. This suspension was again centrifuged at 27,000 g at 15° C. for 1 h and the supernatant was again discarded. The sediment was suspended in autoclaved deionized water and spun for 5 min at 350 g to sediment any remaining unbroken cells. The supernatant was decanted and centrifuged at 27,000 g for 1 h at 15° C. to sediment the crude cell wall fraction.

The crude cell wall fraction was deproteinized by digestion with proteolytic enzymes, care being taken to use DNase-free reagents where possible to optimize the amount of M-DNA in the preparation and to preserve the structure of the M-DNA in the preparation. The crude cell wall fraction derived from about 400 g of whole cells was suspended in 1 liter of 0.05 M DNase-free Tris-HCl, pH 7.5, by mixing at low speed. After the crude cell wall fraction was thoroughly suspended, 50 mg of DNase-free trypsin (Sigma Chemical Co) was added and the suspension was stirred using a magnetic stirring bar at 35° C. for 6 h. Following trypsin treatment, 50 mg of DNase-free pronase (Amersham Canada Limited, Oakville, Ontario) were added to each liter of trypsin-treated crude cell wall suspension. The suspension was stirred using a magnetic stirring bar for 12 to 18 h at 35° C.

After proteolytic digestion, the crude cell wall fraction was delipidated with detergent and phenol. To each liter of suspension, 60 g of DNase-free urea (Sigma Chemical Co.), 2.0 ml of DNase-free 100% phenol or 150 ml of 90% w/v phenol (Sigma Chemical Co.) were added. The flask containing the suspension was covered loosely with aluminum foil, warmed to 60-80° C. and stirred for 1 hr. The suspension was spun for 10 min at 16,000 g. The supernatant fraction and the fluid beneath the pellet were discarded. The pellet was washed 3 times by resuspension in about 1 liter of autoclaved deionized water and centrifuged for 10 min at 16,000 g.

The washed, deproteinized, delipidated MCC was lyophilized by transferring the suspension to an autoclaved lyophilizing flask with a small amount of autoclaved water. One 300 ml lyophilizing flask was used for each 30 grams of wet cell complex starting material. The MCC suspension was shell frozen by rotating the flask in ethanol cooled with solid carbon dioxide. After the content of the flask was frozen, the flask was attached to a lyophilization apparatus (Virtis Co. Inc., Gardiner, N.Y.) and lyophilized. After lyophilization, the sample was transferred to an autoclaved screw-cap container and stored at −20° C. in a desiccator jar containing anhydrous calcium sulfate.

Unless stated otherwise, the lyophilized MCC was resuspended in autoclaved deionized water or in a pharmaceutically acceptable DNase-free buffer such as, but not limited to, saline and PBS, and emulsified by sonication. Optionally, the sonicated MCC was homogenized by microfluidization at 15,000-30,000 psi for one flow-through. The MCC suspension was either processed under aseptic conditions or was sterilized by autoclaving.

EXAMPLE 2 Purification of M-DNA from MCC and from M. phlei

MCC was prepared as in Example 1. M-DNA was purified from MCC (MCC-DNA) by phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol extraction and ethanol precipitation (Short Protocols in Molecular Biology, 3rd Edition, Ausubel et al. Eds., John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, USA). Unexpectedly, we found that at least about 3.6% of the dry weight of MCC is extractable M-DNA.

M-DNA was purified from M. phlei (M. phlei-DNA) by suspending the M. phlei (strain 110) in 5 ml of DNase-free 50 mM Tris-HCl, 5 mM EDTA, pH 8.0, adding DNase-free lysozyme (Sigma Chemical Co.) to a concentration of 1 mg/ml and incubating for 90 min at 37° C. DNase-free Proteinase K (Life Technologies, Burlington, Ontario, Canada) was added to a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml, DNase-free sodium dodecyl sulfate (BioRad, Richmond, Calif.) was added to a concentration of 1% and the incubation was continued for 10 min at 65° C. The M. phlei-DNA was phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol extracted and ethanol precipitated.

Unless stated otherwise, the M-DNA (MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA) was sonicated in autoclaved deionized water or in a DNase-free pharmaceutically acceptable buffer such as, but not limited to, saline and PBS. MCC, MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA do not contain endotoxins as determined using a Limulus amebocyte lysate QCL-1000 kit (BioWhittaker, Walkersville, Md.).

EXAMPLE 3 Preparation of Bacterial-DNA-bacterial Cell Wall Complex and of Bacterial DNA from other Bacterial Species

Bacterial DNA-bacterial cell wall complex is prepared from M. smegmatis, M. fortuitous, Nocardia rubra, Nocardia asteroides, Comybacterium parvum, M. kansaii, M. tuberculosis, and M. bovis as in Example 1. Bacterial-DNA is purified from bacterial DNA-bacterial cell wall complex and from intact bacteria as in Example 2.

EXAMPLE 4 DNase Treatment

MCC-DNA, M-phlei-DNA and MCC, each containing 1 μg of M-DNA, and REGRESSIN® (U.S. Pat. No. 4,744,984) were digested with 1 international unit (IU) of RNase-free DNase I (Life Technologies) for 1 h at 25° C. in 20 mM Tris HCl, pH 8.4, 2 mM MgCl2 and 50 mM KCl. DNase I was inactivated by the addition of EDTA to a final concentration of 2.5 mM and heating for 10 min at 65° C. DNase I digests both single stranded and double stranded DNA. Digestion with DNase I results in almost total degradation of DNA. REGRESSIN® (Bioniche, Inc. London, Ontario, Canada) is a formulation containing 1 mg mycobacterial cell wall extract, 20 μl mineral oil NF in 1 ml PBS and 0.5% v/v of TWEEN 80.

EXAMPLE 5 Cells and Reagents

All cell lines, except OC2 and SW260, were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC, Rockville, Md.) and were cultured in the medium recommended by the ATCC. OC2 and SW260 were obtained from Dr. J. K. Collins (University College Cork, Cork, Ireland) and were cultured in DMEM medium supplemented with 10% FCS. Table 1 shows the cell lines, their origins and their properties.

TABLE 1
Cell lines
CELL LINE ORIGIN PROPERTIES
THP-1 Human acute
monocytic leukemia
HL-60 Human promyelo-
cytic leukemia
HL-60 MX-1 Human promyelo- Atypical drug resist-
cytic leukemia ance to mixoxantrone
RAW 264.7 Murine monocytic
leukemia
JURKAT Human T
lymphoblast
HT-1376 Human bladder Mutation in p53/p21
carcinoma MDR
HT-1197 Human bladder
carcinoma
B-16-F1 Murine melanoma
SW260 Human colon FAS-L resistance
adenocarcinoma
OC2 Human esophageal
carcinoma
LS1034 Human cecum Conventional
carcinoma MDR

Murine macrophages were obtained from female CD1 mice injected intraperitoneally with 1.5 ml sterile Brewer's thioglycolate broth (Difco, Detroit, Mich.). The peritoneal exudate (>85% macrophages) was harvested at day 4, washed by centrifugation in HBSS and cultured in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% FCS, 2 mM L-glutamine and 20 mM HEPES (Life Technologies). The cells were allowed to adhere for 18 h after which non-adherent cells were removed by gentle washing with warm medium.

Murine spleen cells were prepared by gentle teasing through sterile stainless steel screens. Cell suspensions were layered on Lympholyte-M cell separation media (CedarLane, Hornby, Ontario, Canada) and centrifuged at 2200 rpm for 30 min to remove red blood cells and dead cells. These cells were cultured in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% FCS, 2 mM L-glutamine and 20 mM HEPES (Life Technologies).

Unless stated otherwise, cells were seeded in 6 well flat-bottom tissue culture plates at concentrations between 3×105 and 106 cells/ml and were maintained at 37° C. in a 5% CO2 atmosphere.

Calf thymus-DNA, herring sperm-DNA and Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were obtained from Sigma Chemical Co. Recombinant human IL-12 (hIL-12) was obtained from R&D Systems (Minneapolis, Minn.).

EXAMPLE 6 Stimulation of Cytokine Synthesis in vitro

The cytokine IL-12 is reported to have anti-cancer activity in some cancer cells (Voest et al. Journal National Cancer Institute 87:581-586, 1995; Stine et al. Annals NY Academy of Science 795:420-421, 1996), whereas the cytokine GM-CSF is reported to have pro-cancer activity in some cancer cells (Hawkyard et al. Journal of Urology 150:514-518, 1993). Moreover, some cancer cells are reported to secrete cytokines (De Reijke et al. Urology Research 21:349-352, 1993; Bevers et al. British Journal of Urology 80:35-39, 1997). Therefore, the effect of MCC on IL-6, IL-12 and GM-CSF synthesis by HT-1197 and HT 1376 human bladder cancer cells and by human THP-1 monocytes, murine macrophages, murine RAW 264.7 monocytes, and murine spleen cells was determined.

Cytokine production was determined in pg/ml in 100 μl of culture supernatant using the appropriate commercial ELISA (BioSource, Camarillo Calif.). The IL-12 ELISA measures both IL-12 p70 complex and free p40 subunit.

HT-1197 and HT-1376, THP-1, macrophage, RAW 264.7, and murine spleen cells were incubated for 48 h with 1 μg/ml MCC. As shown in FIG. 1, MCC stimulated production of IL-6 and of IL-12 by human monocytes and murine macrophages, but not by human bladder cancer cells, murine monocytes or spleen cells. MCC did not stimulate GM-CSF production of in any of the cancer cells tested.

These data show that MCC stimulates production of the anti-cancer cytokines IL-6 and IL-12 by human monocytes and murine macrophages. MCC does not stimulate cytokine production by human bladder cancer cells. MCC does not stimulate production of the pro-cancer cytokine GM-CSF.

EXAMPLE 7 Effect of Untreated and DNase I Treated MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® on IL-12 Production by Human THP-1 Monocytes

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with MCC, M-phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® before treatment with DNase I, after treatment with DNase I and after addition of M-DNA to DNase I treated MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA.

TABLE 2
IL-12 production in pg/ml by human THP-1 monocytes
IL-12 production, pg/ml culture supernatant
M. phlei-DNA MCC-DNA MCC Regressin ®
Treatment 1 μg/ml 1 μg/ml 1 μg/ml 1 μg/ml
None 407 676 1222 196
DNase 178 367 729 200
DNase + 424 658 783 Not Done
1 μg DNA

As shown in Table 2, MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA each stimulated THP-1 monocytes to produce IL-12. MCC stimulated more IL-12 production than M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA. REGRESSIN® stimulated significantly less IL-12 production. DNase I treatment reduced by about 50% MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA stimulated IL-12 production. REGRESSIN® was not effected by DNase I treatment. Addition of MCC-DNA to DNase I-treated MCC did not restore its IL-12 production, whereas addition of M. phlei-DNA to DNase I-treated M. phlei and of MCC-DNA to DNase I treated MCC-DNA did restore their IL-12 production.

These data show that M-DNA, as MCC, M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA, stimulates production of the cytokine IL-12 by human monocytes. MCC stimulates more IL-12 production than M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA, suggesting that the carrier on which M-DNA is presented to the monocytes can optimize their response. DNase I treatment, which degrades the M-DNA, reduces significantly M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and MCC stimulation of IL-12 production, suggesting that the undegraded oligonucleotide sequence of M-DNA is necessary for stimulation of IL-12 production by human monocytes. Addition of M-DNA to DNase I treated MCC did not restore its stimulation of IL-12 production, suggesting that the physical complexion of M-DNA with M. phlei cell wall in MCC is important for optimal stimulation of IL-12 production by human monocytes.

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with 0.5, 1.0. 1.5 and 5.0 μg/ml of MCC and of REGRESSIN®.

TABLE 3
IL-12 production in pg/ml by human THP-1 monocytes
MCC Regressin ®
0.5 μg/ml  614 ± 30  65 ± 11
1.0 μg/ml 1078 ± 40 223 ± 20
2.5 μg/ml 1237 ± 82 313 ± 23
5.0 μg/ml  1231 ± 112 359 ± 43

As shown in Table 3, at each of the concentrations tested, MCC stimulated significantly more IL-12 production than REGRESSIN®.

EXAMPLE 8 Effect of CD14 Antibody Treatment on MCC and MCC-DNA Stimulated IL-12 Production by Human THP-1 Monocytes

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated with PBS or with 10 μg/ml of anti-CD14 antibody (clone MY4, Coulter-Immunotech, Hialeah, Fla.) for 1 h. Then, 5 μg/ml of MCC or of MCC-DNA were added and the incubation was continued for 48 h. CD14 antibodies, which bind to CD14 receptors on the cell surface, caused about a 20% decrease in MCC in and about an 85% decrease in MCC-DNA stimulated IL-12 production. (FIG. 2).

EXAMPLE 9 Effect of Cytochalasin D on MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA Stimulated IL-12 Production by Human THP-1 Monocytes

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with PBS or with 1 μg/ml MCC, M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA in the absence of and in the presence of 10 μg/ml of cytochalasin D (Sigma Chemical Co.). Cytochalasin D, which inhibits phagocytosis, caused about a 55% decrease in MCC, about a 65% decrease in M-phlei-DNA, and about a 50% decrease in MCC-DNA stimulated IL-12 production (FIG. 3).

Although not willing to be bound by the following hypothesis, but based on the data shown in FIGS. 2 & 3, it is believed that MCC, MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA interact with monocytes by more than one mechanism. FIG. 2. suggests they interact with the GPI-linked membrane receptor CD14 and are internalized. This mechanism is more specific for soluble MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA than for insoluble MCC. FIG. 3 suggests they interact with phagocytic receptors, such as the scavenger receptor, and are internalized. This mechanism is more specific for insoluble MCC than for soluble MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA.

EXAMPLE 10 Effect of CG Sequence and of MCC on IL-12 Production by Human THP-1 Monocytes

Nucleic acid preparations from bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) are reported to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation, secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 by B-lymphocytes, secretion of IL-12 by monocytes, secretion of IL-6 and interferon-gamma by T-lymphocytes and secretion of interferon-gamma by NK cells (Klinman et al. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science USA 93:2879-2883, 1996). The active constituent in BCG nucleic acid has been identified as the palindromic oligonucleotide sequence purine-purine-C-G-pyrimidine-pyrimidine (CG motif).

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with 0.5, 1 and 5 μg/ml of MCC or of 5′-GCTAGACGTTAGCGT-3′ DNA (SEQ ID NO 1) prepared by solid phase synthesis using an automated DNA synthesizer.

TABLE 4
Effect of CG-containing oligonucleotide and of MCC on IL-12
production in pg/ml by THP-1 monocytes.
5 μg/ml 1 μg/ml 0.5 μg/ml
GCTAGACGTTAGCGT Undetectable Undetectable Undetectable
(SEQ ID NO 1)
MCC Not Done 1239 Not Done

As shown in Table 4, the CG-containing oligonucleotide did not stimulate IL-12 production at any of the three concentrations tested, whereas MCC at 1 μg/ml had a significant stimulatory effect on IL-12 production by human monocytes.

EXAMPLE 11 Effect of Autoclaving on MCC and M. phlei-DNA Stimulation of IL-12 Production by Human THP-1 Monocytes

Human THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with MCC and M. phlei-DNA and with MCC and M. phlei-DNA, which had been autoclaved for 30 min in sterile water.

TABLE 5
Effect of autoclaving on MCC and M. phlei-DNA stimulation
of IL-12 production in pg/ml by THP-1 monocytes
Non-autoclaved Autoclaved
MCC 1 μg/ml 1017.4 905.2
MCC 10 μg/ml 1061.6 1076.8
M. phlei-DNA 1 μg/ml 902.0 1088.6
M. phlei-DNA 10 μg/ml 1027.1 949.5

As shown in Table 5, autoclaving does not effect MCC or M. phlei-DNA stimulated IL-12 production by human monocytes.

EXAMPLE 12 Effect of Heat Treatment and of DNase I Treatment on MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® Stimulation of IL-12 Production by Murine Macrophages

Murine peritoneal macrophages were incubated for 48 h with untreated MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® and with M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN®, which had been heated at 100° C. for 10 minutes and then cooled in ice for 2 minutes.

TABLE 6
IL-12 production in pg/ml by murine macrophages.
IL-12 production, pg/ml supernatant
Treatment 12.5 μg/ml 5.0 μg/ml 0.1 μg/ml
M. phlei-DNA 228 207 140
M. phlei-DNA heat-treated 278 222 164
MCC-DNA Not Done 176 164
MCC-DNA heat-treated Not Done 235 131
MCC Not Done 745 Not Done
REGRESSIN ® 110 96 80
REGRESSIN ® heat-treated 93 82 79

As shown in Table 6, at a concentration of 5 μg/ml, IL-12 production was stimulated most by MCC, less by M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA and least by REGRESSIN®. Heat treatment of M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® had no significant effect on their stimulation of IL-12 production. Although not shown, heat treatment of MCC caused a slight, but significant, increase in IL-12 production.

Murine peritoneal macrophages were incubated for 48 h with untreated and with DNase I treated MCC, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® (FIG. 4). IL-12 production was stimulated most by MCC, less by MCC-DNA and least by REGRESSIN®. DNase I treatment of MCC and of MCC-DNA significantly reduced their stimulation of IL-12 production, whereas DNase I treatment of REGRESSIN® had no effect on its stimulation of IL-12 production.

These data show that M-DNA, as MCC, M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA, stimulates production of the cytokine IL-12 by murine macrophages. As with human lymphocytes (Example 7), MCC stimulates more IL-12 production than M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA and DNase I treatment significantly reduces MCC-DNA and MCC stimulated IL-12 production.

EXAMPLE 13 Effect of Interferon-gamma on MCC Stimulation of IL-12 Synthesis by Murine Peritoneal Macrophages

Murine peritoneal macrophages were incubated for 48 h with PBS, interferon-gamma (Life Technologies), MCC and MCC+interferon gamma. As shown in FIG. 5, in the presence of the PBS, IL-12 production was about 75 pg. The addition of 500 units/ml of interferon-gamma had a minimal effect on IL-12 production. In the presence of 25 μg/ml of MCC, IL-12 production increased to about 800 pg. The addition of 500 units/ml of interferon-gamma to 25 μg/ml of MCC increased IL-12 production by about 180 pg to 980 pg. These results demonstrate that interferon-gamma priming is not required for MCC stimulation of IL-12 production, and that the effects of interferon-gamma and of MCC are additive. That is, there is no synergy between interferon-gamma and MCC stimulation of IL-12 production. In contrast, interferon-gamma is a prerequisite for BCG stimulation of IL-12 production.

EXAMPLE 14 Effect of MCC, M-phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN® on Nitric Oxide (NO) Production by Murine Peritoneal Macrophages

Macrophage activation stimulates production of reactive oxygen species including, but not limited to, nitric oxide, superoxide radicals and hydroxyl radicals. These reactive oxygen species induce cytolysis and apoptosis in responsive cells and, therefore, have anti-cancer activity.

Murine peritoneal macrophages were incubated for 48 h with 0.1, 5.0 or 12.5 μg/ml of MCC, M-phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN®. NO production was measured in nmol/L by reaction of NO2-with Griess reagent using 100 μl of culture supernatant.

TABLE 7
Effect of MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and REGRESSIN ® on
NO production by murine macrophages.
NO production, nmol/L
Treatment 12.5 μg/ml 5.0 μg/ml 0.1 μg/ml
M. phlei-DNA 18.9 8.3 2.6
MCC-DNA Not Done 3.0 1.8
MCC Not Done 36.2 Not Done
REGRESSIN ® 1.6 2.6 0.1

As shown in Table 7, at 5 μg/ml, MCC, stimulated significantly more NO production than M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA. REGRESSIN®. stimulated almost no NO production.

Murine macrophages were incubated for 48 h with 1 μg/ml MCC and DNase I treated MCC, and with MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA.

TABLE 8
Stimulation of NO production in murine macrophages by MCC,
and DNase I treated MCC and by MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA
Experiment #1 Experiment #2
NO (nmol/ml) NO (nmol/ml)
MCC 43.7 30.7
MCC + DNase I (1 U) 0.0 2.1
MCC-DNA 2.6 2.1
M. phlei-DNA 0.0 1.6

As shown in Table 8, MCC stimulated significant NO production. DNase I treatment of MCC abolished MCC stimulation of NO production. MCC-DNA and M. phlei-DNA stimulated minimal NO production.

These data suggest that, for optimal stimulation of NO production by macrophages, preserved (undegraded) M-DNA must be presented to the macrophages complexed on a carrier such as M. phlei-cell wall.

EXAMPLE 15 Effect of MCC on the Production of Nitric Oxide (NO) by Murine RAW 264.7 Monocytes

Murine RAW 264.7 monocytes were incubated for 24 h with increasing concentrations of MCC. Increasing concentrations of MCC stimulated increasing amounts of NO production (FIG. 6). This was unexpected as receptors for NO induction are not optimally expressed on monocytes and, therefore, NO production is not usually associated with monocytes. Under the same conditions, REGRESSIN® did not stimulate NO production.

EXAMPLE 16 Stimulation of Cytokine Synthesis in vivo

Four groups of CD-1 mice, each containing 5 mice, were injected intraperitoneally with 50 mg/kg of MCC. Blood was collected at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h after injection and concentrations (pg/ml) of IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 and GMSF in the sera were determined at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h post-injection (FIG. 7A). With intraperitoneal MCC, sera concentrations of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12 were significantly increased at 3 and 6 h post-injection, and declined to approximately control values (0 h) at 24 h post injection. Sera concentrations of GM-CSF remained at about control values (0 h) at 3, 6 and 24 h post-injection.

Five groups of CD-1 mice, each containing 5 mice, were injected intravenously with 6.6 mg/kg of MCC. Blood was collected at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h after injection and concentrations (pg/ml) of IL-10 and IL-12 in the sera were determined at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h post-injection (FIG. 7B). With intravenous MCC, sera concentrations of IL-12 were significantly increased at 3 and 6 h post-injection, and declined to approximately control values (0 h) at 24 h post injection. Sera concentrations of IL-10 remained at about control values (0 h) at 3, 6 and 24 h post-injection.

These data demonstrate that in vivo administration of MCC stimulates production of the anti-cancer cytokine IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12, but not the pro-cancer cytokine GM-CSF. Further, these data demonstrate that the amount of MCC administered and the route of administration effect the activity of the MCC.

Four groups of CD-1 mice, each containing 4 mice, were injected intraperitoneally with untreated and with DNase I-treated MCC, and M. phlei-DNA. After 3 h, the mice were sacrificed, blood was collected by cardiac micropuncture and the concentration (pg/ml) of IL-12 in sera was measured (Table 9).

TABLE 9
Effect of MCC and of M. phlei-DNA ± DNase
on IL-12 production in pg/ml by CD-1 mice.
MCC +
MCC DNase % inhibition
mouse #1 255 mouse #5 126 49%
mouse #2 180 mouse #6  57 68%
mouse #3 146 mouse #7 121 17%
mouse #4 199 mouse #8 143 28%
average 195 ± 46 111 ± 38 40.5 ± 22.6%
M. phlei-
M. phlei- DNA +
DNA DNase % inhibition
mouse #9 135 mouse #13 110 19%
mouse #10 283 mouse #14 146 48%
mouse #11 118 mouse #15 121 82%
mouse #12 270 mouse #16 169 37%
average 195 ± 46 111 ± 38 46.5 ± 26.5%

As shown in Table 9, in vivo administration of MCC and of M. phlei-DNA stimulate production of the anti-cancer cytokine IL-12. After DNase I treatment, MCC stimulated IL-12 production decreased 40.5% and M. phlei-DNA stimulated IL-12 production decreased 46.5%. This demonstrates that the oligonucleotides of M-DNA must be preserved for optimal stimulation of IL-12 production in vivo.

EXAMPLE 17 Inhibition of Cell Proliferation

Cell proliferation was determined using dimethylthiazol-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction (Mosman et al. Journal of Immunological Methods 65:55-63, 1983). HT-1376, HT-1197, B-16 F1, THP-1, RAW 264.7, Jurkat, HL-60 and HL-60 MX-1 cells were incubated for 24 h with from 0 μg/ml to 10 μg/ml of MCC (FIG. 8). MCC inhibited proliferation in each of the cancer cell lines tested in a dose dependent manner.

HT-1376, HT-1197, B-16 F1, THP-1, RAW 264.7, Jurkat, HL-60 and HL-60 MX-1 cells were incubated for 24 h with from 0 μg/ml to 10 μg/ml of M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA, herring sperm-DNA and calf thymus-DNA. M. phlei-DNA (FIG. 9A) and MCC-DNA (FIG. 9B) inhibited proliferation in each of the cancer cell lines tested in a dose-dependent manner, whereas herring sperm-DNA (FIGS. 9A & 9B) and calf thymus-DNA (FIGS. 9A & 9B) did not inhibit proliferation of any of the cancer cell lines tested.

Human leukemic THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 24 h with from 0 μg/ml to 10 μg/ml of MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA, and hIL-12. MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA inhibited proliferation of THP-1 monocytes in a dose-dependent manner, whereas hIL-12 did not inhibit proliferation of THP-1 monocytes (FIG. 10).

HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells were incubated for 24 h with from 0 to 100 μg/ml of MCC and LPS. MCC inhibited proliferation in a dose dependent manner in both HT-1197 (FIG. 11A) and HT-1376 (FIG. 11B), whereas LPS did not inhibit proliferation in either of the human bladder cancer cells lines.

As determined by inhibition of cell proliferation, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA and MCC, wherein M-DNA is preserved and complexed on M. phlei cell wall, inhibit proliferation of each of the cancer cell lines tested. In contrast, LPS, which is a nonspecific immunostimulant reported to induce apoptosis in some cancer cell lines (Izquierdo et al. Anticancer Drugs 7:275-2801996); hIL-12, which is a cytokine reported to induce apoptosis in some cancer cell lines (Stine et al. Annals NY Academy of Science 795:420-421, 1996), and DNA from calf thymus and from herring sperm do not inhibit proliferation of any of the cancer cell lines tested. These data show that M-DNA inhibits proliferation of the cancer cells tested and that other DNAs (herring sperm-DNA and calf thymus-DNA) cannot replace M-DNA. These data also show that M-DNA inhibition of cell proliferation does not result from nonspecific immunostimulation (LPS) or from cytokine activity (hIL-12).

EXAMPLE 18 Induction of Apoptosis as Indicated by DNA Fragmentation

Fragmentation of cellular DNA into nucleosome-sized fragments is characteristic of cells undergoing apoptosis. Nucleosome-sized fragments are DNA fragments possessing a difference of about 200 base-pairs in length as determined by agarose gel electrophoresis (Newell et al. Nature 357:286-289, 1990). To assess DNA fragmentation, non-adherent cells were collected by centrifugation at 200 g for 10 min. Pellets of non-adherent cells and the remaining adherent cells were lysed with 0.5 ml of hypotonic lysing buffer (10 mM Tris buffer, 1 mM EDTA, 0.2% Triton X-100, pH 7.5). The lysates were centrifuged at 13,000 g for 10 min and the supernatants, containing fragmented DNA, were precipitated overnight at −20° C. in 50% isopropanol and 0.5 M NaCl. The precipitates were collected by centrifugation and were analyzed by electrophoresis in 0.7% agarose gels for 3 h at 100V.

A suspension culture of human leukemic THP-1 monocytes was incubated for 48 h with PBS and with 1 μg/ml of untreated and DNase I treated MCC and M. phlei-DNA and with herring-sperm DNA (FIG. 12). MCC (lane 4) and M. phlei-DNA (lane 2) induced significant DNA fragmentation, whereas PBS (lane 1), DNase I treated MCC (lane 5), DNase I treated M phlei-DNA (lane 3), and herring sperm-DNA (lane 6) did not induce significant DNA fragmentation. A 123-bp DNA ladder (Life Technologies) was used to determine the molecular weight of the nucleosome-sized DNA fragments (lane L).

HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells were incubated for 48 h with 1 μg/ml MCC or hIL-12. MCC induced DNA fragmentation in non-adherent HT-1197 cells, but not in adherent HT-1197 cells (FIG. 13A) MCC also induced DNA fragmentation in non-adherent HT-1376 cells, but not in adherent HT-11376 cells (FIG. 13B). hIL-12 did not induce DNA fragmentation in HT-1197 (FIG. 13A) or HT-1376 cells (FIG. 13B). A 123-bp DNA ladder (Life Technologies) was used to determine the molecular weight of the nucleosome-sized DNA fragments (lane L).

As determined by nuclear fragmentation, M. phlei-DNA and MCC, wherein M-DNA is preserved and complexed on M. phlei cell wall, induce apoptosis in human leukemic THP-1 monocytes and in HT-1 197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells, whereas herring sperm-DNA, hIL-12, and DNase I treated M. phlei DNA and MCC do not induce apoptosis in these cells. These data show that the that the oligonucleotides of M-DNA must be intact (DNase I treatment) for induction of apoptosis and that other DNAs (herring sperm-DNA) cannot replace M-DNA. These data also show that M-DNA induction of apoptosis does not result from nonspecific immunostimulation (LPS).

EXAMPLE 19 Induction of Apoptosis as Indicated by Solubilization of Nuclear Mitotic Protein Apparatus (NuMA)

Striking morphological changes in the cell nucleus caused by the solubilization and release of NuMA are characteristic of apoptosis. To determine solubilization and release of NuMA, media from the cultured cells were removed and centrifuged at 200 g for 10 min. The supernatants were collected and 100 μl of each supernatant were used to quantitate NuMA release in units/ml (U/ml) using a commercial ELISA (Calbiochem, Cambridge, Mass.) (Miller et al. Biotechniques 15:1042-1047, 1993).

Human leukemic THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with 0 μg/ml to 10 μg/ml of MCC, M. phlei-DNA, MCC-DNA, and herring sperm-DNA. MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA induced release of NuMA from THP-1 monocytes in a dose-dependent manner, whereas herring sperm-DNA did not induce release of NuMA (FIG. 14). MCC was more effective than M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA in inducing apoptosis in THP-1 monocytes. DNase I treatment of MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA significantly inhibited their induction of NuMA release from these cells (FIG. 15).

HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells were incubated with 0 μg/ml to 100 μg/ml of MCC. MCC induced the release of NuMA in a dose-dependent manner (FIG. 16). HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells were incubated with 1 μg/ml and with 100 μg/ml of MCC. MCC induced release of NuMA in a time-dependent manner (FIGS. 17A & 17B). Enhanced release of NuMA was detected within 24 hours after incubation of HT-1197 cells (FIG. 17A) and of HT-1376 (FIG. 17B) cells with 100 μg/ml of MCC.

As determined by NuMA release, MCC, M. phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA, each of which contain M-DNA, induce apoptosis in the cancer cell lines tested. MCC, wherein M-DNA is preserved and complexed on M. phlei cell wall, induces more apoptosis than M. phlei-DNA or MCC-DNA. This suggests that the carrier that presents M-DNA to responsive cells effects M-DNA induction of apoptosis.

EXAMPLE 20 Fas Independent Induction of Apoptosis in Jurkat Human T Lymphoblast Cells by M. phlei-DNA

Jurkat human T lymphoblast cells were incubated for 1 h with PBS, with CH-11 antibody (1 μg/ml), an antibody that binds to Fas and induces apoptosis (+control) or with ZB4 antibody (1 μg/ml), an antibody that bind to Fas and inhibits apoptosis (−control) (Coulter-Immunotech). M. phlei-DNA (1 μg/ml) was added and NuMA release was determined after 48 h.

As shown in FIG. 18, M. phlei-DNA induced apoptosis both alone and in the presence of ZB4antibody. These data demonstrate that M. phlei DNA induction of apoptosis is independent of Fas.

EXAMPLE 21 Summary of Effects of MCC, M phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA on Cell Proliferation and on Apoptosis

Table 10 summarizes the effects of MCC, M phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA on cell proliferation and on apoptosis induction as determined by DNA fragmentation, NuMA release, and flow cytometric analysis in a variety of human and murine cancer cell lines.

TABLE 10
Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human
and murine cancer cell lines
Flow
Inhibition of Nucleosome- NuMA cytometric
Cells proliferation sized DNA released analysis
THP-1 yes yes yes  ND*
HL-60 yes yes yes ND
HL-60 MX-1 yes yes yes ND
RAW 264.7 yes yes yes ND
JURKAT yes yes yes ND
HT-1376 yes yes yes ND
HT-1197 yes yes yes ND
B-16-FI yes yes ND ND
SW260 ND ND ND yes
OC2 ND ND ND yes
LS1034 yes ND yes ND
*ND = Not Done

MCC, M. Phlei-DNA and MCC-DNA inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in each of the cancer cell lines tested. These cancer cell lines include atypical drug resistant HL-60 MX-1 human promyelocytic leukemia, p53/p21 abnormal and drug resistant HT-1376 human bladder, Fas abnormal SW260 human colon, and conventional drug resistant LS1034 human cecum carcinoma cells.

EXAMPLE 22 MCC Activation of Caspase-3 in Human Leukemic THP-1 Monocytes

Caspase 3 is a key enzyme in the apoptotic pathway downstream of Fas-FasL signaling. To determine if MCC can by-pass Fas and directly activate the caspase cascade in cancer cells, the effect of MCC on caspase-3 activity was assayed in human leukemic THP-1 monocytes.

THP-1 monocytes (2×107 cells) were incubated for 48 h with MCC (100 μg/ml). The THP-1 cells were lysed in 50 mM HEPES, pH 7.4, 100 mM NaCl, 0.1% (3-[3-cholamidopropyl)-dimethyl-ammonio]-1-propane-sulfonate, CHAPS, 10 mM DTT, 1 mM EDTA and 10% glycerol. Caspase-3 activity was determined with a commercial ELISA (BIOMOL Research Laboratories, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), using the included substrate, inhibitor and purified caspase-3 enzyme. Results are expressed as optical densities read at 405 nm.

TABLE 11
MCC (100 μg/ml) activation of caspase 3 activity in human
leukemic THP-1 monocytes.
p-nitroanalide absorbance, 405 nm
O.D. × 10−1, O.D. × 10−1,
Incubation 3 hours incubation 6 hours incubation
THP-1 alone 0.19 0.06
THP-1 + MCC cell extract 0.44 0.20
THP-1 + MCC treated with 0.12 0.11
DNase cell extract
Purified Caspase-3 0.87 0.58
Purified Caspase-3 + 0.00 0.00
caspase-3 inhibitor
THP-1 + MCC cell extract + 0.00 0.00
Caspase-3 inhibitor

As shown in Table 11, incubation with MCC induced a 232% (3 h) and a 333% (6 h) increase in caspase-3 and caspase-3 like activity in human leukemic THP-1 monocytes. MCC induction of caspase-3 and caspase-3 like activity was abolished by DNase I treatment of MCC. Specificity of MCC induction of caspase-3 and caspase-3 like activity was demonstrated using caspase-3 inhibitor. Addition of caspase-3 inhibitor to MCC-treated THP-1 cell extracts completely abolished measurable activity. The ability of MCC to directly and specifically induce caspase-3 and caspase-3 like activity in human leukemic THP-1 monocytes is totally unexpected. To induce caspase-3 and caspase-3 like activity, MCC must be gain entry into the cells by one or more mechanisms and, then, directly induce caspase activity to initiate the lethal proteolytic cascade of apoptosis execution.

EXAMPLE 23 Effect of Tamoxifen on MCC Inducted Apoptosis in Human Leukemic THP-1 Monocytes

Human leukemic THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 90 min in control medium or in medium containing 10 μg/ml ((Z)-2-[p-(1,2-Diphenyl-1-butenyl)-phenoxy]-N,N-dimethylethylamine), tamoxifen, (Sigma-Aldrich), an anti-estrogen used in the palliative treatment of advanced breast cancer. Cells were washed extensively with ice-cold medium (2×), resuspended to about 106 cells/ml in medium and incubated for 48 h with 0, 1, 10 and 100 μg/ml of MCC. Apoptosis was quantitated by measuring NuMA.

TABLE 12
Effect of tamoxifen on MCC induced apoptosis in human
leukemic THP-1 monocytes determined by NuMA release in U/ml.
+MCC +MCC +MCC +medium
1 μg/ml 10 μg/ml 100 μg/ml only
Control 174.6 260.0 237.2 174.6
Tamoxifen 354.9 406.2 410.0 284.7
(10 μg/ml) (↑ 50.8%) (↑ 36.0%) (↑ 42.1%)

As shown in Table 12, preincubation in tamoxifen significantly increased MCC induced apoptosis at each of the MCC concentrations used. These data demonstrate that MCC can be used as an adjunct to other anti-cancer agents to increase treatment effectiveness.

EXAMPLE 24 Modification of M-phlei-DNA by Methylation, Sonication and Autoclaving

The activity of BCG nucleic acid is abolished completely by cytosine methylation of BCG with CpG methylase (Krieg et al. Nature 374:546-549, 1995). Therefore, the effect of CpG methylation on the ability of M. phlei-DNA to induce apoptosis was determined.

M. phlei-DNA, 1 μg, was methylated using 2.5 U of CpG Sss I methylase (New England Biolabs, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) for 1 h at 37° C. Native and methylated M. phlei-DNA were subjected to cleavage by BstU I restriction endonuclease (New England Biolabs) for 1 h at 60° C. and were analyzed by electrophoresis in 0.5% agarose gel (3 h, 100 V).

As shown in FIG. 19, untreated M. phlei-DNA was digested by BstU I restriction endonuclease (lanes 1 and 2), whereas methylated M. phlei-DNA (lanes 3 and 4) was not digested by BstU I restriction endonuclease. This confirms that methylation of the M. phlei-DNA was complete. Untreated M. phlei-DNA was included as a control (lanes 5 and 6). The 123 bp DNA ladder (Life Technologies) was used to determine the molecular size of digested DNA fragments (lane L).

As shown in FIG. 20, methylation did not modify M. phlei-DNA induced release of NuMA from human leukemic THP-1 monocytes. Therefore, unlike BCG-DNA, CG-motifs are not necessary for apoptosis induction by M. phlei-DNA.

The oligonucleotide length of M phlei-DNA (1 μg) was reduced by sonication for 15 sec or for 20 min on ice in a Model W-38 ultrasonic processor (HeatSystems-Ultrasonics, Inc.), by autoclaving at 121° C. for 30 min (Castle Sybron MDT, Dubuque, Iowa), or by digestion with BstU I restriction endonuclease. Sonication, autoclaving and BstU I digestion, each of which reduce oligonucleotide length to the range of about 5 base pairs to about 250 base pairs, did not change M. phlei-DNA induction of NuMA release from THP-1 monocytes (FIG. 20). Similar results were obtained with MCC. These results demonstrate that M. phlei-DNA and MCC induce apoptosis in cancer cells, even at short base-pair length (about 5 base pairs to about 250 base pairs).

Human leukemic THP-1 monocytes were incubated for 48 h with untreated MCC and M. phlei-DNA and with MCC and M. phlei-DNA autoclaved for 30 min at 121° C. Autoclaving did not affect the ability of MCC or of M. phlei-DNA to inhibit of proliferation of (Table 13A), or to induce apoptosis in (Table 13B) human leukemic THP-1 monocytes.

TABLE 13A
Effect of autoclaving on MCC and M. phlei-DNA
inhibition of proliferation
Non-autoclaved Autoclaved
% inhibition % inhibition
MCC 1 μg/ml 87 ± 4  84 ± 10
MCC 10 μg/ml 68 ± 1 74 ± 6
MCC 100 μg/ml 59 ± 7 64 ± 6
M. phlei-DNA * 1 μg/ml 88 ± 8  84 ± 11
M. phlei-DNA 10 μg/ml 80 ± 8 74 ± 6
M. phlei-DNA 100 μg/ml 68 ± 4 64 ± 5

TABLE 13B
Effect of autoclaving on MCC and M. phlei-DNA
induction of apoptosis
determined by NuMA release in U/ml.
Non-autoclaved Autoclaved
MCC 1 μg/ml 298.0 277.1
MCC 10 μg/ml 325.9 322.4
MCC 100 μg/ml 339.9 357.3
M. phlei-DNA * 100 μg/ml 261.4 268.4
M. phlei-DNA 10 μg/ml 317.2 278.4
M. phlei-DNA 1 μg/ml 306.8 285.8

EXAMPLE 25 MCC Inhibits Cancer Growth in vivo

MCC and DNase I treated MCC were emulsified to a final concentration of 1 mg/ml in PBS containing 2% w/v mineral oil and 0.02% w/v TWEEN 80 (Fisher Chemical Co.) by sonication at 4° C. for 5 min.

Line 10 hepatoma cells, syngenic for strain-2-guinea pigs were rapidly thawed, washed by centrifugation and resuspended in M199 medium to a concentration of 106 cells/ml. One-tenth ml containing 1.5×106 cells was injected intradermally into the flanks of 3 month-old strain 2 guinea pigs. Treatment was initiated 6 to 7 days post-injection, when the cancers were between about 0.5 and about 0.8 cm in diameter. Seven animals were treated with emulsification buffer alone (control), 7 with emulsification buffer containing MCC, and 7 with emulsification buffer containing DNase I treated MCC. The emulsions were instilled directly into the cancer and surrounding normal tissue. One-half ml of emulsion was administered at 0 h and at 6 h for a total volume of 1 ml containing 1 mg of MCC or of DNase I treated MCC.

Cancer diameters (longest diameter+shortest diameter) were recorded weekly for 3 weeks. Cancer volumes were calculated in mm3 as 0.5×a (longest diameter)×b2 (shortest diameter) and the increase in cancer volume relative to day 0 of treatment was calculated for each guinea pig. Statistical analysis was done using 2-way ANOVA with replicates (PHARM/PCS version 4.2, MCS, Philadelphia, Pa.). Differences in treatment were considered significant at p≦0.05.

As shown in FIG. 21, with control emulsion, cancer volume increased by about 22-fold by week 3, whereas with MCC, cancer growth was significantly inhibited compared to control emulsion (FIG. 21, Table 14). With DNase I treated MCC, cancer growth was not significantly different from control (FIG. 21, Table 14).

TABLE 14
Two-way ANOVA with replicates
Treatment comparison p value 
Control vs MCC p < 0.01
Control vs MCC + DNase Not significant
MCC vs MCC + DNase p < 0.01

These data show that instillation of MCC at the site of a tumor results in regression of the tumor. Moreover, the significant (p<0.01) difference in inhibition of cancer growth between MCC and DNase I treated MCC demonstrates that the oligonucleotides of M-DNA must be preserved (undegraded) for the anti-cancer activity of MCC in vivo.

EXAMPLE 26 MCC Cytotoxicity

Cell cytotoxicity is characterized by the loss of plasma membrane integrity and release of cytoplasmic enzymes such as, but not limited to, LDH (Wyllie et al. International Review of Cytology 68: 251-306, 1980; Phillips et al. Vaccine, 14:898-904, 1996). Human bladder cancer cells release LDH when treated with cytotoxic agents (Rahman M. Urology International 53:12-17, 1994).

To assess the cytotoxicity of MCC, HT-1197 and HT-1376 human bladder cancer cells were incubated for 48 h with from 0 μg/ml to 100 μg/ml of MCC or with lysing buffer (10 mM Tris, 1 mM EDTA, 0.2% Triton X-100, pH 7.5) as a control for total LDH release (Filion et al. Biochim Biophys Acta 1329:345-356, 1997). LDH release into the culture supernatant was determined using a commercial assay (Sigma-Aldrich).

As determined by LDH release, MCC was not cytotoxic to HT-1197 or to HT-1376 cells (FIG. 22). The absence of cytotoxicity demonstrates that MCC acts directly to inhibit proliferation of and to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.

EXAMPLE 27 MCC Stability

MCC at 1 mg/ml was stored as a sterile suspension in 0.85% w/v NaCl in the dark at 4° C. or 6 months. Mean particle diameter was calculated using photon correlation spectroscopy (N4 Plus, Coulter Electronics Inc.). The MCC suspension was diluted with 0.85% w/v NaCl to a particle count rate between 5×104 and 106 counts/sec. Mean particle diameter was calculated in size distribution processor mode (SDP) using the following conditions: fluid refractive index 1.33, temperature 20° C., viscosity 0.93 centipoise, angle of measurement 90.0°, sample time 10.5 μs, and sample run time 100 sec. Potential, the electric charge at the hydrodynamic interface between the particles and the bulk solvent, was measured in a Delsa 440SX (Coulter Electronics Inc.) using the following conditions: current 0.7 mA, frequency range 500 Hz, temperature 20° C., fluid refractive index 1.33, viscosity 0.93 centipoise, dielectric constant 78.3, conductivity 16.7 ms/cm, on time 2.5 sec, off time 0.5 sec, and sample run time 60 sec.

As shown in FIG. 23, MCC charge and MCC diameter remained relatively unchanged during 6 months of storage. Moreover, MCC stimulation of IL-12 production in THP-1 monocytes and MCC induction of apoptosis in THP-1 monocytes remained unchanged during 6 months of storage.

EXAMPLE 28 MCC and MCC-DNA Treatment of Human Colon Cancer

Human colon cancer cells (ICM12C) are established as an ectopic solid tumor in the subcutaneous tissues of immunodeficient athymic nude mice (nu/nu mice) and the mice are divided into 5 groups. Group 1 receives vehicle alone. Group 2 receives MCC. Group 3 receives DNase I treated MCC. Group 4 receives MCC-DNA. Group 5 receives DNase I treated MCC-DNA. Cancer mass is measured before treatment and weekly during 4 weeks of treatment. Group 2 mice and Group 4 mice show regressin of cancer mass.

EXAMPLE 29 MCC and M. phlei-DNA Treatment of Human Ovarian Cancer

Human ovarian cancer cells (36M2) are established as ascites in the peritoneal cavity of immunodeficient athymic nude mice (nu/nu mice) and the mice are divided into 5 groups. Group 1 receives vehicle alone. Group 2 receives MCC. Group 3 receives DNase I treated MCC. Group 4 receives M. phlei-DNA. Group 5 receives DNase I treated M. phlei-DNA. Cancer mass is measured before treatment and weekly during 4 weeks of treatment. Group 2 mice and Group 4 mice show inhibition of ascitic cancer cell proliferation.

EXAMPLE 30 MCC Treatment of Canine Transmissible Venereal Cancer

Dogs with veneral cancers (VT) are divided into 4 groups. Group 1 receives vincristine. Group 2 receives vincristine combined with methotrexate and cyclophosphamide. Group 3 receives MCC. Group 4 receives vincristine and MCC. Cancer mass is measured before treatment and weekly during 12 weeks of treatment. Group 3 and Group 4 dogs show regression of VT. Group 4 dogs show more regression of VT than Group 3 dogs.

EXAMPLE 31 MCC Treatment of Canine Osteosarcoma

Dogs with osteosarcoma are treated by amputation followed by MCC and MCC plus cisplatin weekly for 4 weeks. They are then treated weekly for 4 additional weeks with MCC plus cisplatin. Both the MCC and the MCC-cisplatin are effective.

EXAMPLE 32 Suspension in Aqueous Buffer

Lyophilized MCC is suspended in a pharmaceutically acceptable buffer and is emulsified by sonication at 20% output for 5 minutes (Model W-385 Sonicator; Heat Systems-Ultrasonics Inc). Optionally, the emulsified mixture is homogenized by microfluidization at 15,000-30,000 psi for one flow-through (Model M-110Y; Microfluidics, Newton, Mass.). The suspension is either processed under aseptic conditions or is sterilized by autoclaving.

EXAMPLE 33 Emulsification of MCC in Neutral Lipid.

DNase free phosphatidylcholine is added to DNase free triglyceride soybean oil at a ratio of 1 gram of phospholipid to 20 ml of triglyceride and is dissolved by gentle heating at 50°-60° C. Several grams of MCC are added to a dry autoclaved container and the phospholipid-triglyceride solution is added at a concentration of 20 ml per 1 gram of MCC. The suspension is incubated for 60 min. at 20° C. and is then mixed with DNase-free PBS in the ratio of 20 ml MCC suspension per liter of PBS. The mixture is emulsified by sonication at 20% output for 5 minutes (Model W−385 Sonicator; Heat Systems-Ultrasonics Inc.). Optionally, the emulsified MCC mixture is homogenized by microfluidization at 15,000-30,000 psi for one flow-through (Model M-110Y; Microfluidics). The MCC emulsion is transferred to an autoclaved, capped bottle for storage at 4° C.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates only to a preferred embodiment of the present invention and that numerous modifications or alterations may be made therein without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

1 1 15 DNA Unknown Description of Artificial Sequence synthetic 1 gctagacgtt agcgt 15

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3172815Apr 24, 1962Mar 9, 1965Warner Lambert PharmaceuticalMethod for preparing reticulo-endo-thelial system stimulant and stimulant thereof
US3976544Jun 19, 1973Aug 24, 1976The Agence Nationale De Valorisation De Le RechercheWater-soluble immunological adjuvants, in particular for vaccines, obtained from mycobacteria and related microorganisms and process for their extraction
US4010257Feb 22, 1974Mar 1, 1977Burroughs Wellcome Co.Biological extracts
US4036953Nov 17, 1972Jul 19, 1977Agence Nationale De Valorisation De La Recherche (Anvar)Mycobacteria or nocardia treated with murolytic enzyme
US4152423Jun 16, 1977May 1, 1979Agence Nationale De Valorisation De La Recherche (Anvar)Immunological agents
US4182751Jun 6, 1977Jan 8, 1980Institut MerieuxNew immunostimulant medicament and process of preparing same
US4337243Aug 30, 1979Jun 29, 1982Institut Merieux, S.A.Immunostimulant medicament and process of preparing same
US4520019Mar 19, 1984May 28, 1985Ribi Immunochem Research, Inc.Stable composition and preparation thereof
US4579941Aug 13, 1982Apr 1, 1986Mitsuitoatsu Chemicals, Inc.Thermally-denatured deoxyribonucleic acid MD-011 and antitumor agent
US4647456Jan 3, 1985Mar 3, 1987Dr. Madaus & Co.Methods of increasing tolerance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy using propioni bacteria
US4663306Sep 23, 1983May 5, 1987Ribi Immunochem Research, Inc.Pyridine-soluble extract-refined detoxified endotoxin composition and use
US4724144Feb 15, 1985Feb 9, 1988University College LondonTreatment of tuberculosis and leprosy
US4726947Jun 8, 1981Feb 23, 1988Matsui Toatsu Chemicals, Inc.Bacterial cell extract, process for preparing same, antitumor preparation containing same, and adjuvant preparation containing same
US4744984Oct 8, 1985May 17, 1988Vetrepharm Research, Inc.Antiviral immunotherapeutic agent and preparation thereof
US4877611Sep 30, 1987Oct 31, 1989Ribi Immunochem Research Inc.Vaccine containing tumor antigens and adjuvants
US5759554Dec 9, 1994Jun 2, 1998Vetrepharm, Inc.Immunostimulatory bacterial cell wall traction
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Cox et al., FEBS Letters, vol. 195, No. 1,2, p. 194-198, Jan. 1986.
2E. Marshal, Science vol. 269, p. 1052-1053, Aug. 1995.*
3Eck et al., Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Chap. 5: Gene-Based Therapy, McGrow-Hill, New York, p. 77-101, 1996.*
4Gray, G.R., et al., "Brief Communication: Immunotherapy of Cancer: Tumor Supression and Regression by Cell Walls of Mycobacterium phlei Attached to Oil Droplets," J. Natl. Cancer Instit., vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 727-730 (Sep. 1975).
5Klinman, D.M. et al., "CpG motifs present in bacterial DNA rapidly induce lymphocytes to secrete interleukin 6, internleukin 12, and interferon gamma," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 93, pp. 2879-2883 (Apr. 1996).
6Klinman, D.M. et al., "CpG motifs present in bacterial DNA rapidly induce lymphocytes to secrete interleukin 6, internleukin 12, and interferon γ," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 93, pp. 2879-2883 (Apr. 1996).
7Pisetsky, D.S., et al., "Stimulation of in vitro proliferation of murine lymphocytes by synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides," Mol. Biol. Reports, vol. 18, pp. 217-221 (1993).
8Pisetsky, D.S., et al.,Immune Activation by Bacterial DNA: A New Genetic Code, Immunity, vol. 5, pp. 303-310, (Oct. 1996).
9Tokunaga, T. et al., "Synthetic Oligonucleotides with Particular Based Sequences from the cDNA Encoding Proteins of Mycobacterium bovis BCG Induce Interferons and Activate Natural Killer Cells," Microbiol. Immunol., vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 55-66 (1992).
10Verma et al., Nature, vol. 389, p. 239-242, Sep. 1997.*
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6673566Jan 10, 2002Jan 6, 2004The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of AgricultureDiagnosis of pathogen infections through analysis of nitrite production by antigen stimulated leukocytes
US6794368 *Mar 30, 2000Sep 21, 2004Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.Composition and method for inducing apoptosis in prostate cancer cells
US6809081Dec 3, 1999Oct 26, 2004Bioniche Life Sciences, Inc.Employing mycobacterium phlei-dna preserved and complexed on m. phlei cell wall; inhibiting proliferation; inducing apoptosis; potentiating antineoplastic effect
US6890911 *Dec 3, 1999May 10, 2005Bioniche Life Sciences, Inc.Method for the treatment of inflammation
US7125858Dec 28, 2000Oct 24, 2006Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.Hyaluronic acid in the treatment of cancer
Classifications
U.S. Classification514/44.00R, 536/23.1, 435/243, 435/253.1, 424/93.4, 424/93.2, 514/1
International ClassificationA61K31/70, A01N61/00, A61K47/48, C12N1/12, A01N63/00, A61K31/711, C07H21/02, A01N43/04, A61P35/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61K47/48776, A61K31/711, A61K31/713
European ClassificationA61K47/48W2, A61K31/711, A61K31/713
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 24, 2014ASAssignment
Owner name: ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE NAME OF RECEIVING PARTY IN RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY INTERESTIN EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 032380 FRAME 0157. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS.;ASSIGNOR:MORGAN STANLEY SENIOR FUNDING, INC., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:032513/0255
Effective date: 20140228
Mar 3, 2014ASAssignment
Effective date: 20140228
Free format text: RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY INTEREST IN EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:MORGAN STANLEY SENIOR FUNDING, INC., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:032380/0157
Owner name: ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS SOLUTIONS INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Mar 8, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
Apr 23, 2012ASAssignment
Effective date: 20120415
Owner name: BIONICHE UROLOGY IP INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BIONICHE LIFE SCIENCES INC.;REEL/FRAME:028089/0840
Jul 12, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Effective date: 20110617
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS RECORDED AT REEL/FRAME 25456/172;ASSIGNOR:JPMORGAN CHASE BANK N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:026577/0357
Jul 8, 2011ASAssignment
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST IN EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;REEL/FRAME:026561/0978
Effective date: 20110617
Owner name: MORGAN STANLEY SENIOR FUNDING, INC., AS ADMINISTRA
Dec 9, 2010ASAssignment
Effective date: 20101130
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN UNITED STATES PATENTS (EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;REEL/FRAME:025456/0172
Owner name: ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST RECORDED AT REEL/FRAME 23928/628;ASSIGNOR:JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:025456/0778
Feb 13, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN UNITED STATES PATENTS (EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100216;REEL/FRAME:23928/628
Effective date: 20091016
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN UNITED STATES PATENTS (EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100422;REEL/FRAME:23928/628
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN UNITED STATES PATENTS (EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100518;REEL/FRAME:23928/628
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN UNITED STATES PATENTS (EXCLUSIVELY LICENSED PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC.;REEL/FRAME:023928/0628
Oct 30, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: LICENSE;ASSIGNORS:BIONICHE LIFE SCIENCES INC.;BIONICHE UROLOGY INC.;REEL/FRAME:023449/0258
Effective date: 20090709
May 6, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Jun 6, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 4, 2002CCCertificate of correction
Oct 11, 2000ASAssignment
Owner name: BIONICHE LIFE SCIENCES INC., CANADA
Free format text: CANADIAN ARTICLES OF ARRANGEMENT;ASSIGNOR:BIONICHE INC.;REEL/FRAME:011173/0160
Effective date: 19990901
Owner name: BIONICHE LIFE SCIENCES INC. 231 DUNDAS STREET EAST
Sep 21, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: BIONICHE, INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PHILLIPS, NIGEL C.;FILION, MARIO C.;REEL/FRAME:009466/0079;SIGNING DATES FROM 19980825 TO 19980914